China urges France to cancel arms deal with Taiwan

China on Tuesday urged France to “cancel” an arms contract with Taiwan, stressing that such a transaction towards this island claimed by Beijing and led by a rival government could “harm Sino-French relations “

According to the Taiwanese press, the sale relates to equipment of French frigates sold to the Taipei navy in the years 1990, a case which had caused a serious diplomatic crisis between Paris and Beijing.

“China has expressed serious concern to France,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday in a statement sent to the AFP.

Taiwan is a highly sensitive subject for the People's Republic of China, which considers the island as one of its provinces. Populated by 23 million inhabitants, the island territory has been ruled for years 1940 by a regime different from that of continent.

Beijing criticizes all official relations between foreign countries and Taipei, exchanges which it equates to support for Taiwanese separatism.

“We are opposed to any sale of weapons or military or security exchange with the Taiwan region,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“We urge France […] to cancel its plan to sell weapons to Taiwan, in order to avoid damaging Sino-French relations. “

In 1991, France signed the sale of six frigates to Taiwan for $ 2.8 billion, causing a freeze in Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations.

The Taiwanese navy indicated on April 7 2020 in a short press release that it intended to modernize its French-made Lafayette frigates.

A source close to the file confirmed to AFP that a contract has been made by the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense for the modernization of the Dagaie decoy launcher system which equips these six frigates.

A decoy launcher is a system used to avoid being struck by an enemy missile.

According to Taiwanese media, which cite a Taiwanese government website, the cost of the transaction is more than 800 million Taiwanese dollars (24, 6 million euros).

According to the same source, the selling company is the French company DCI-Desco, a unit of the Defense Consulting International group (DCI).

Officially called “Republic of China”, the Taiwanese regime considers itself the heir to the regime founded in China in 1912. He controlled the continent until 1949, when he lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists.